Eco-Friendly Technology for Construction in the Arctic


Researchers at the South Russian State Polytechnic University (YRGPU) have pioneered eco-friendly technology for the production of environmentally friendly and durable materials. These materials are designed for use in road and low-rise construction under the extreme conditions of the Arctic.

In 2.5 years scientists have created eco-geopolymeric thermosetting materials using waste from thermal power plants in the Arctic region of Russia. The developed technology is slated for implementation at the largest thermal power plants in the Arctic – Apatitskaya and Severodvinskaya in the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions.

The significance of this project stems from the challenges associated with infrastructure development in High North. Local soils contain frozen water and are susceptible to frost heaving, meaning they expand in volume as they transition from a thawed to a frozen state due to ice formation. These processes often turn roads into "washboard" surfaces.

The aforementioned technology can be employed also in the thermal insulation of foundations, basements, underground pipelines, engineering networks, and ice arenas. The new materials boast longevity, non-flammability, and frost resistance. A production method has been proposed to manufacture these materials with a minimal carbon footprint, wherein they are not burned but instead solidify and gain strength through hydrate foaming.

Efforts to further refine these materials will continue on an international scale in collaboration with scientists from the Indore Institute of Technology (India).